How does anxiety affect family relationships? How does your state of mind come in between your daily routine and the way you deal with your other family members?
Anxiety is a way to react to immense stress and also a type of mental illness, if not paid timely attention to. Even though if it is generalized anxiety, the person has his own mood shifts which make several things a lot difficult to manage and deal with in day to day life.
In this blog, let us discuss how does anxiety affects family relationships and how can family members support the one going through it and we can come out as a win-win situation.
How does anxiety affect family relationships?
Anxiety affects the individual at first and his or her own ability to think clearly and finding ways to overcome fears and overthinking problems. The person dealing with anxiety has a real hard time dealing with things on his own and after a while, things start flooding out of his mind and affect others living with that person.
Whether you are a man or woman, stress has nothing to do with gender, anxiety, and stress can hit anybody, anytime and make them restless and cause excessive fatigue in their body. It causes a series of fearful situations in our minds and we fail to come out of the mental weave it creates.
It not only ruins the beauty of our thoughts but also instills an unwarranted sense of fear and doubt in everything.
Five ways anxiety affects family relationships and makes it more complex
A person living with anxiety finds it really difficult to finish his mundane tasks, socializing with others, and find it very challenging while communicating with family members. They have this sense of mental drain. Socializing becomes their biggest fear and they try to avoid public events or any social gatherings.
It is also observed that when you are living in a joint family, many times it could be your mother in law who is pulling your anxiety triggers and putting you in that depressing zone. In turn, you avenge your frustration and irritability on your husband or kids. Let us see, how a less attended mental state can harm our relationships in the long run:
|1. You have no one to talk
|2. You are judged
|3. Your inability is taken as an excuse
|4. You are forced to do things
|5. You are left unattended
1. You have no one to talk
These feelings are already complex for you to understand, why is it happening and what is happening to you? Why do you feel restless, nauseatic, heavy-headed all the time, why do you crave sleep and peace? Why do you seek solace in isolation? You might feel uncomfortable around your in laws but you can’t talk about it and it bothers you inside. Maybe because you find it too hard to open up because you find it difficult to accept what you are feeling which makes it even worse.
Mental illness is normal, yes it is, just like any other disease, the attitude towards such illness is a real problem. Unless we talk about it, no one will understand how one feels under such circumstances.
2. You are judged
How does anxiety affect family relationships? Just because you find it hard getting out of bed every morning and find yourself trapped in your own thoughts you are presumed to be lazy, ignorant, and irresponsible and that is how it affects you and your relationships. The worst problem with any form of mental illness is that it plays with your ability to function. It plays with your hormones and unbalances your thought process, we try re-aligning it daily, and trust me the struggle is real. Every day counts.
This is specifically the case with Indian daughter in laws as they are expected to be perfect, organized, and best at everything but at times like this when your mental state is not supporting you, you need a little breathing space to figure out things.
3. Your inability is taken as an excuse
Today is that day when you are feeling overwhelmed, you could not stop but overthink about few events happening around you and then you are feeling excessive anxiety. Just then you are expected to perform a task which is not in your capacity, you won’t tell why and your family members won’t understand why? And all this mostly leads to a situation wherein you are assumed to be irresponsible and ignorant towards your duty.
How does anxiety affect family relationships? It affects when your family member fails to make out the difference in your behavior and instead of reaching out to you and checking on you, criticize you for being what you appear to them.
4. You are forced to do things
You have to do so many things unwillingly, you are present at those events but mentally you are absent and just feel like rushing away. The most crucial part and specifically if you dealing with social anxiety. Where you try to avoid social gatherings and family gatherings because you feel social anxiety around your in laws, who worry what they would say which will lead people to judge you and criticize you.
You make excuses to avoid such events but you are forced to. You try to avoid things that could act as a trigger to your anxiety and put cause you excessive worry but you have a tough time explaining things to your family members.
5. You are left unattended
So you tried explaining your feelings to your husband, and he says you have got everything then why do you want to create problems? Or consider a husband expressing his anxiety to a wife and might be presumed as how can you feel such a thing, come on, it is all in your head. There the problems remain unattended which could prove very harmful in the long run.
It is observed that even generalized anxiety takes the face of anxiety attacks and panic attacks when the person is not taken seriously about his mental health conditions.
How to deal with anxiety and save our relationships?
While there could so many ways we can deal with our anxiety and save our relationships, at least the ones which matter, I will point out seven major ways to deal with anxiety and rule out its effects on your relationship with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Seven ways to deal with the anxiety that affect family relationships
I am listing out a few ways which will surely help you to ease, these are general practices followed as a coping mechanism, till the time things are in control. It is always advisable, to begin with, self-care and that is what I am going to stress on. I read this book, The Magic by Rhonda Byrne a while ago and I have read it twice, it amazes me how the human mind can be re-wired by simply following few practices and then making it our daily habit.
We can start with a few mentioned below.
|1. Talk about it
|2. Educate your family members
|3. Repair yourself
|4. It’s ok to not be ok
|5. Take time for exercise
|6. Eat the right food
|7. Focus on good things
1. Talk about it
Don’t worry about who will understand and who will not, you just start talking about your feelings and your mental state, at least it will help your family members to understand the reason behind your irritability and discomfort. Do not give up if they do not entertain this whole story of mental distress you are facing, it really is very difficult for others to understand such feelings, give them time to accommodate with your state.
2. Educate your family members
It is very important to talk about Mental Health, as people are not even aware of such a thing and the majority of the population choose to remain ignorant towards it until it hits them personally. Educate your family members about it by sharing informative articles and videos with them. Maybe they will not get it at once but the more you will talk about it the more it will register in their minds.
3. Repair yourself
Take time for yourself, give yourself some time. You know there is something wrong and instead of worrying about it take time to give it a moment. Accept your feelings and that is how you take responsibility for your feelings. How does anxiety affect family relationships? When people make a big deal about your feelings. Understand it is absolutely normal and this could happen to anyone, so let’s not harm our relationships because of something which can be cured.
4. It’s ok to not be ok
Believe this, why do you feel that you have to be ok and suppress your emotional balance, it will only go worse. Seek help if you feel you are not able to control thoughts but do not take it as a threat in the first place. It is ok to cry, it is ok if you are having burnout and it applies to both men and women, It is absolutely ok to be human and feel such emotions we are born with.
5. Take time for exercise
The most essential part of your recovery. If you really want to change your present condition and make a difference in your life and your relationships. Start with you. Start exercising, meditating, swim, take a walk, and just make sure you are engaged in some physical activities for at least 30 minutes daily. Physical activities have got a lot of psychological benefits.
6. Eat the right food
Avoid any drink which contains caffeine as it is believed to worsen your anxiety. Eat a well-balanced diet. Stick to three meals at least and avoid junk and fatty foods. Undergo a deep repair, your body is what you eat, what you think, and what you feed it with. Make it a good one.
7. Focus on good things
There is always something to be grateful for, it could be your evolved mother in law, a loving husband, parents, your child, your job, something must be there in your life too. Which holds deep meaning and support. Stick to it and focus on all the good you have, you will gain strength from your support system which will help you bring back the faith within you.
How can family members contribute?
How does anxiety affect family relationships? It affects our relationships when we don’t care.
How does anxiety affect family relationships? It affects when we see things but we choose to stay ignorant.
Family members have a major part to play here. Instead of criticizing the person and looking at him or her as a lazy and spoiled brat who doesn’t want to do things, speak to him. Try to understand what’s bothering him. Research says that the positive support of the family members helps the one who is facing such a difficult trail of emotions.
- Speak and be there when you see some unusual or change in behavior.
- Be there when you see the person shutting himself down and going into isolation.
- Check on your friends who have lost contact and suddenly disappeared from everywhere.
- Be kind to people around you as you don’t know what fight he or she is fighting inside.
- Be available if someone shows a sign of concern and wants to talk
- Take out time for your family members
Just by being aware of our surroundings and keeping a close watch on our near and dear ones we can certainly prevent tragedies. It is observed that when no one understands the person goes into hiding and never opens up about his feelings which only worsens a general or temporary mental illness. We can save lives by being available and being aware. Be there. Be aware, take care, and spread sanity.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.